We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cookie Recipe #245 - Neapolitan Cookies

These remind me of the neapolitan ice cream we used to have as a treat when we were kids. I always wanted more chocolate than the other two, especially the pink one. Now I like all of them, although chocolate is probably still my favorite, and just like the ice cream, each layer of this cookie presents a different flavor. Because it is a "chillin" cookie, these can be made the day or night before, then refrigerated overnight.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup vegetable shortening, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon raspberry or strawberry extract (I used about 1 teaspoon of maraschino cherry juice), 1 egg white, slightly beaten, red food coloring.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and almond extract; mix well. Sift flour with baking powder and blend into creamed mixture.

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. To one, add the 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening and the cocoa; mix well. To another portion, add a few drops of red food coloring and the raspberry or strawberry extract (or maraschino cherry juice). Blend well.

With plastic wrap, line a loaf pan, about 3x6 inches and 2 inches deep. Press the chocolate dough into the bottom of the pan and brush with egg white. Place the white dough over the chocolate dough; press together and brush with egg white. Place the pink dough on top, press and brush with egg white. Wrap the plastic around the three layers to cover the whole package. Chill several hours in the refrigerator (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from loaf pan, unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets about an inch apart and bake 10-12 minutes, or until firm and just starting to brown around the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

"The Ultimate Cookie Book", Tormont Publications Inc., Montreal, 1997.

Cookies Rule!!!

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